Foodies who are looking for a spicy way to end the day need only try Chef Sovan Singh’s authentic Indian dishes every Thursday evening with Spice Up, India in Circles Event Café. In this interview, Chef Sovan discusses his kitchen pet peeves and his impress-the-crowd dish.
How did you get started as a chef?
I started my career as an intern in Mumbai. After that, I worked there for almost five years, then transferred to another place, and again and again. I've been here in Manila for 4 and a half years already.
I know chefs have their own pet peeves in the kitchen. What's yours?
I will not cook if you do not give me the exact ingredients I need. If I need to, I will go out and buy them my own but you can't make me cook using alternatives. We Indians are that passionate about our cuisine.
His specialty: Chole kulche with mint raita
What did you have for dinner last night?
I always eat Indian food for dinner. When I don't eat Indian food, I feel like I didn't take my dinner. Breakfast, it's okay (not to eat) but for lunch and dinner, I really have to eat Indian Food. I had Lamb Rogan Josh (a lamb stew). That's my favorite and the Chicken Curry.
Where do you eat most often when you're off duty?
Actually when I'm out of the hotel, and when I'm off my duty, I try different cuisines. Sometimes I try Japanese, sometimes Chinese. For Chinese, I go to Gloria Maris. Japanese, I'm okay with Teriyaki Boy. Sometimes I also eat Thai food.
What three ingredients do you like working with?
Cardamom. Number two is Turmeric because without Turmeric, you can't make Indian food. And then cumin, which is good for your digestion and also good for the flavors as well.
If you're to have your last meal, what city would you go to and what would you have?
Of course I will go to India, in Mumbai. And I'll feast on Indian food. Mumbai has more than 20,000 restaurants serving Indian food. When you go to Mumbai, you'll see that they are very passionate about Indian food.
What's your go to dish to impress a crowd?
For a Filipino crowd, I will cook Paneer Masala. If they are Indian guest, I'll make a Dahl. The longer you cook the Dahl, the better.
Chef Sovan is part of Circles Event Cafe's on-going Superhero Chef promotion. Every night of the week is a feast at Circles Event Café with a highlighted cuisine presented each evening, featuring the authentic specialty dishes of each superhero chef. Guests may vote for the superhero chef of their choice by filling out a raffle stub every time they dine at Circles Event Café between August 6 and September 9, 2012.
Lovers of Indian cuisine need not look far for an authentic taste of the region, as Chef Sovan prepares India’s signature dishes in an appetizing spread. Vote for him and get a chance to win a lunch or dinner buffet good for 20 persons.